Don't Freak Out About Brexit Just Yet
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Politics and Activism

Don't Freak Out About Brexit Just Yet

Although there is a lot of fear for the future of the UK following the Brexit referendum, there are still ways to diminish the negative consequences of Brexit

Don't Freak Out About Brexit Just Yet
Clean Technica

On June 23, 2016, the citizens of the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting in favor of a referendum to leave the European Union. The decision to leave was largely opposed by economic experts including the IMF and the Bank of England, afraid of the economic sanctions that would occur, and a majority of Parliament, who fear a significant decrease in influence for the UK if they chose to leave. Despite this, the Leave campaign, headed largely by Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, a far right nationalist party, advocated a xenophobic course for the UK that would “keep Britain for the British” and promised to stop wasting money on the EU and spend it on British services like their NHS (it’s important to point out that just hours after the UK voted to leave, Farage backtracked on this statement, which was a key point in his campaign to leave). There’s plenty of blame to go around, from the Leave campaign’s false promises, to the uninformed voters who didn’t even know what the EU was or what it meant to leave it, as well as the numerous protest voters who voted to leave but didn’t actually believe they would win. Stocks plummeted after the results of the Brexit vote and the British pound has significantly devalued. No matter whom you choose to blame, the UK has made an irrevocable decision that will continue to alter history for the next few decades.

Or is it? There is plenty of speculation on the economic impacts of Brexit, but what many fail to realize is that a Brexit might not happen, and if it does, it may not be as devastating as many people predict. There are a few ways the UK can still save itself before it’s too late. Here are two possible scenarios on how Brexit can be stopped/limited.

1. The UK doesn't leave the EU

There are a few ways the UK can get around the Brexit referendum. Legally speaking, the Brexit referendum isn’t a legally binding contract, it’s purely advisory. Parliament still holds the power and could hold a vote of their own that would overrule the referendum. This has been complicated by the fact that Prime Minister David Cameron, who was against Brexit, has announced his resignation and the front runner to replace his spot is Boris Johnson, who strongly believes in Brexit, and will likely push for his colleagues to follow through with the referendum and leave the EU (Update: Boris Johnson has announced that he will not run for prime minister). Despite this, there is still a large majority of MPs in Parliament who want to stay, and if they vote this way, they could still prevent an official Brexit.

In addition, there is a petition with over four million signatures demanding a second referendum, a do-over per se. This petition argues that voter turnout was too low and the vote was too close to take the first referendum at face value. Although this path looks unlikely at the moment, a general election could happen later in the year as Parliament looks for a mandate from the people. A new prime minister to replace Cameron would not have true legitimacy unless there was a general election. If this did happen, a second referendum could be included in the general election, and with so many regrets (read: Bregrets) about the outcome of this vote, there is a strong argument that a second referendum could have vastly different results, thereby sparing the UK from separating from the EU.

2. The UK leaves the EU officially, but stays within its system unofficially

One of the biggest benefits of being in the EU is the access to the single market. Putting it simply, the single market allows the UK to freely move money, goods, services, and people into and from any country part of the EU. Many companies and banks have threatened to move their headquarters out of the UK if they voted to leave because of the possible restrictions they may face if the UK isn’t allowed to stay in the single market. Although the Leave campaign has made halting the flood of immigrants one of their key points, that may not be possible. The leaders of the 27 remaining EU countries came together in a statement stating that “access to a single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms,” one of the freedoms being free movement of people.

From 1993-2014, the foreign-born population in the EU has doubled. Some of these immigrants come from poorer EU nations, such as Poland, where

people are moving to the wealthier UK in the search for a more prosperous life. The UK can’t risk closing its borders and violating EU rules without risking its access to the single market. In fact, if the UK chooses to stay within the single market, it’s likely that not much will really change, as the UK will still have to abide by the EU rules and regulations.

If a full Brexit does happen within the upcoming years, with the UK truly severing all its ties to the EU and its member states, the results will be disastrous. Much of the UK economy is integrated within the single market system, and a complete separation could hurt British businesses, EU citizens living and working in the UK, and Britains living and working abroad. Although people should be worried about Brexit, there are still possible solutions to help mitigate and even prevent this crisis.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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